Just a few thoughts

It was interesting to hear the Labour leader going on about he had been elected twice as leader and so the party had made a democratic decision and he had no intention of standing down. All he has to do now is convince some of his party that the referendum was a democratic decision by the public to leave USE no matter what the consequences may be, so talk of a second (or third) until they get their answer really isn’t on.

I’ve contacted our local councillor regarding the fallen tree blocking the footpath between Rectory Lane and the A6 – corner of RL to park and ride – and floated the idea that a better surface than muddy grass might be better and less slippery with no need to wear boots when catching a bus to either Leicester or Loughborough. It also seems that the A6/A46 junction will be improved for the new estate between Birstall and Rothley complete with cycleway and footpath between the two. Now about improved bus service maybe to include Abbey Road (for ASDA etc), Wanlip and even the hospitals.

You see, I’m on the mend even if I’ve managed to break the machine twice so far and nearly me as well, I might add.

I’m still trying to work out exactly what UKIP are up to as the ‘leaders’ are appearing to be a complete waste of space seemingly looking after themselves rather than serving their members and ensuring the government is suitably kept on it’s toes as the official opposition is not really doing a good job, the Lib-Dems are still also regrouping, the SNP are only really interested in Scotland. Even the Greens seem to be more active than UKIP in the Commons or perhaps I have missed something.

I told you the UKIP candidate wasn’t right!

So, it came to pass that UKIP still have to find an acceptable candidate to win over the confidence of the average voter. As I pointed out in my last missive, Paul Nuttall is not everyones’ idea of a good MP able to represent them in the House of Commons. It’s all about image when you are competing against the established political parties and then it’s hard work to establish a base to build upon. I should know, as having been elected as an Independent in my home town in a ward that my family had lived in since the 1930s, a simple boundary change lost half my voters – who complained that they couldn’t vote for me any more, but that’s politics and shows how difficult it is to overturn the image of the large parties. As I said many times, elections are not actually won, the rest lose.

I suppose I should put in a plug to any UKIP supporters reading this that you need to get involved, although that currently made very difficult by the organisation who look inwards more than outwards, so try to make a difference by doing more than just saying you would support them and put your time and money into your beliefs.

In case you cared, I’m just back from more little rays blasting into my body and have two days off before yet another 3 weeks of disruption. I’m thinking of it more like a microwave blasting short doses into a bit of meat and not quite cooking it. On the other hand perhaps not!

I’m off to have a little rest, so feel free to leave a comment along the lines of why do I waste my time promoting UKIP when the deed is suppose to have been done. My answer is that democracy is under threat by continuing sniping by ‘remainers’ who will not accept defeat. Personally, I still wonder why the government didn’t just drop a note to USE at the end of June and invoke article 50 giving 2 years notice of leaving and we would be in touch and I bet that is what a lot of people are asking!

I’m still here, alive and kicking

The ‘machine’ was made better on Friday afternoon, so the happy gang met up again on Monday and Tuesday and compared notes. Most seemed to have shorter number of sessions than me so I’ll still be going when most have finished. Naturally the burning question was why the time changes each day as it makes it very difficult to plan anything – we all had the same problem, so not just me! The review went as expected, usual symptoms, so just a check to make sure nothing was amiss.

Meanwhile (see, good word that) the bathroom is still to be finished a couple of weeks after planed and the drive is a nice sea of humps and bumps. Fortunately it may turn out as it seems the water flow is restricted somewhat although the pressure, at 4 bar, is fine, so as long as only one water outlet is used at a time, all is well although SWMBO got a shock when I cleaned my teeth when she was showering – that will teach her. So far the stop cock outside has been opened up completely and a new inside tap fitted just in case. The brains that be are still pondering as to know what to do next. Maybe the digger may come in useful afterall.

The combination of a new gas main being installed two doors up, temporary traffic lights, our drive being replaced and the plumbers still here resulted in a visit from the village ‘elders’ reminding me that the bulbs planted earlier in the year in the verge are being trampled all over so I’ve reminded all my workman that parking on the road would be preferred and introduce a measure of traffic calming.

Tomorrow will see a couple of by-elections where Labour MPs bailed out, so If UKIP doesn’t win one of them, they are in real trouble and I’m not convinced the candidate at Stoke central is the right man even though he was elected (not by me though) as the party leader and still gaff prone! As I remind you all, the idea is right as more supporters/contributions would ensure a better class of management (afterall, that is what is needed) so quality not quantity needs to be the order of the day and only UKIP members can make that happen.

Mr Blair cannot help himself!!

The clonking machine I mentioned last time finally gave up the ghost after I left yesterday by literally falling apart – according to the hospital, so they are going to add the cancelled day (today) onto the end of my treatment and something will be sorted out for Monday and I’ll get a new set of dates for the next 4 weeks as all the machines are in use and they have to fit a quart into a pint pot whilst it’s being mended. Not to worry as the hormone therapy is continuing.

Here at Wanlip Towers, chaos still rains as the ‘temporary’ traffic lights will be here for three weeks whilst our neighbour also has his drive replaced and naturally, the new gas supply will be installed after that. Naturally we are both having hardcore etc. delivered and spoil being taken away, so the lights will be pretty irrelevant as the road is already dug up opposite his drive making turning in very difficult anyway.

I really cannot believe the gall of Mr Blair now, having made is money by ruining our country, he is trying to change the democratic decision of the British people over leaving USE by using the gains he made following resigning his premiership before being caught out. He could see the writing on the wall before handing the poisoned chalice over to Mr Brown. No wonder he is still known as the Teflon king. His money should grease a lot of hands and I hope Mrs May makes a point of ensuring he paid all the required taxes on the £millions he has salted away.

You can now see a concerted campaign backed by Mr Blair and his millions to overturn the democratic decision we made, so be very suspicious of any statements suggesting that USE is a wonderful organisation (remember they have never had the accounts signed off independently) and all members think it’s a wonderful place to live – remind me again why everyone wants to come here rather than most of the other member states of USE.

Remember that UKIP is even more important now so join or just simply donate via their web site (ukip.org) although I confess they are still a little disorganised, so any problems, let me know so I can make a few waves – some areas are worser than others, so those need our attention!

It must be me again! Thought I left the black cloud behind when we moved!

Today brought forth lots of exciting things.

The drive is being dug up and we found the original cobbled stone drive under a thin layer of tarmac and red base all of about 1½ inches thick, so it’s not surprising it lasted so long apart from the top layer. Then, of course, it was off to the Royal for another dose of radiotherapy with the clonking elderly machine. The plumbers are still beavering away trying to finish 10 working days work after 14 days – remember this is Wanlip Towers so anything can happen! Then to crown it all, I actually had a driver for tomorrow following my visit to the doctors for a dose of hormone therapy having been told it was difficult to get a driver for Fridays. Then about 8pm I get a phone call. The machine literally fell to bits and all other machines are booked so tomorrow is cancelled. I was offered an evening appointment or add to the course so I finish a day later. What’s another day between friends? So tomorrow will find me at the doctors receiving my ‘jab’, then back here to look at piles of stuff on what was our drive, closely followed by the plumbers finishing our refurbished bathroom – or not as the case may be!

I told them the machine didn’t sound any better following it’s service last week, but what do I know? (I’m a diagnostic engineer, in case you cared)

March 2008 – ten years on

Carrying out a  search on our system, I thought you might like this item as the NHS is still in the news
Norm’s Home Page
Norm’s ramblings for the year of  2008
Column for March 2008

For those of you who can’t be bothered to fork out for a Berkhamsted ‘Review’, this will bring you up to date with the hospital saga.

Delivering Quality Care for Hertfordshire
Summary by Norman Cutting

In late January, the decision was made public on the future of our health care.

As expected, Watford will be the ‘local’ A&E hospital with a local general hospital being developed in Hemel Hempstead. The decision regarding Watford was made some time ago, so it appears that although Emergency and acute hospital services for east and north Hertfordshire will be centralised at the Lister Hospital in Stevenage (considered marginally more accessible than QEII as a result of it’s closer proximity to the A1(M) and nature of the inter-connecting roads, while the QEII is further away and surrounded by a residential network).

There will be a local general hospital established in Hemel Hempstead which should provide:
• Adult and children’s outpatients
• Diagnostic tests and investigations including pathology access, X-ray, MRI and ultrasound
• Pharmacy
• Ante natal and post natal care
• Urgent care

Childrens’ emergency and planned care will take place at Watford, with adult planned operations will happen at St Albans City hospital.
A network of 8 urgent care centres will be set up, but 4 are already allocated (Lister, QEII, Watford and Hemel) to deal with over 60% of patients who do not need intensive or specialist care.

Access to the ‘new’ facilities will be helped by the appointment of a senior director to have strategic responsibility for transport issues and a support officer will be appointed to work alongside the Project Manager of the Hertfordshire Integrated Transport Project. It appears that £2.75millon will be committed by the organisation. It is also planning to spend £60million over the next 6 years to help local GPs etc. throughout the County to provide local primary health care and community services including access to intermediate care beds (recovery after surgery, I assume) and home care support.

The board has considered the proposed increase in population requirements put forward by both government and the regional assembly and consider that the previous plans are still valid even though there were concerns even then. The board also took into account that other health service providers will provide choice and Hertfordshire residents will continue to be able to take advantage of facilities outside the County.

When will it happen, I hear you ask.

Well, a senior level Programme Board will be established, a senior lead Programme Director will be appointed, so it will be all right.
Locally, interim general hospital services will be established from late summer, A&E and acute services will transfer to Watford from the autumn and an urgent care centre network will be established by the autumn of 2010.

Those readers who know about these things will have spotted that contrary to DoH guidelines, that a number of services have already moved to Watford even though their facilities have yet to be ungraded – even to the extent that emergency ambulances are ‘parked up’ outside Watford A&E to ensure government targets are met (seen within 4 hours, if you don’t arrive, then 4 hours hasn’t started – what a surprise!)
Nearly 10 years ago, but things have yet to really change. Similar events and sagas are happening all over the country including here in Leicestershire, so think about it!

good news and the machine has been serviced!

Let’s start with some good news, shall we? It seems the second buyer of our old property in Berkhamsted bailed out of buying it as a building plot, so the original buyer has dropped the price a little in another effort to sell it. He has a tenant in there for the next month or two so he has a little breathing space before he has a decision to make. I knew of the developer who had offered to buy it and if he felt unable to make money, then it will not all been in vain!

Meanwhile, my parcel got taken to the post office and cost me around £14 to send the incorrect item back, No wonder Amazon make so much money as I don’t get a refund until they get it back! Work on the drive should start tomorrow, the bathroom may be finished by Friday, my driver reported in sick so to the bus top I will be going shortly and the ‘ray’ machine had it’s service, still clonks but it was the original machine installed so I’m not complaining if it does the job.

I’ve now worked out the sequence the thing goes through. Once they have lined me up manually, it then does an ordinary X-ray to check my parts are in the right place. Then, if necessary, fine tuning via the very hard table you lie on takes place prior to a couple of passes all round my lithe little body beaming even more little rays inside me. Then it’s get dressed and find home ready for the next day. So now you know!!

Amazon make you pay for their mistakes!

Back yesterday evening from my regular dose of little rays and found a message saying my ultrasound on Monday has been cancelled due to staff illness, so just the radiotherapy to be done.

The bathroom is making progress slowly as expected judging my our current luck, but never mind, the new bathroom cabinet turned out to be a 3 rung airer rather than a cabinet only it came from Amazon who have, I’ve now found out, have a system for fixing their mistakes. Apparently I have to order a replacement, take the old one to a post office (remember I’ve had a stroke and nearest post office is in the next village complete with bus service – only we don’t have one!) and they will refund about £5 no matter how must it costs. Remember not my mistake!!. The reordered replacement arrived yesterday by the same van that bought the incorrect one but would not take the incorrect one back. Next time I will check contents before it is accepted or, more likely, never use amazon again. Mind you, I also bought some garden solar powered lights which stubbornly refuse to illuminate when it gets dark, but they were bought local, so can easily be returned.

We live near to a junction of the A6 and the A46 which is generally fairly busy. Naturally various footpaths and cycleways also co-join on the traffic light controlled roundabout – did I also mention that the Leicester North services and ambulance station also join this roundabout. There is also a large housing development planned on the north-west side of the junction and there is a requirement for a combined cycleway/footpath to Birstall (being nearest shopping area) to the south-east. Guess where the new residents will have to cross? The A6/A46 roads! It’s all right though, as some of the roads have pedestrian controlled lights. Notice ‘some’ or to put it another way, the shortest walk from the Birstall park & ride is across two slip roads and both carriageways of the A6 all without a pedestrian/cycle facility. As I am able to get about more, this will make life difficult let alone any new residents who may want their children to go to the Cedar Academy (rated good) which backs onto the other side of the A6.

I had a day off!

Meanwhile, here in Wanlip Towers, the bathroom replacement is progressing, the garage roof still leaks (but only when it rains) and the cat has moved up from mice and rats to rabbits. For some reason he leaves the fur (skin) and some evil looking black curly stuff. He wasn’t very hungry this morning and still not learnt how to tidy/clean up after himself so job number one in the morning is removing the remains and wash the floor, Nice!!

I’ve manage to start clitting the first of our seed potatoes ready for planting out in late March after I start to regain my strength (‘start’ being the operative word), but the local garden centre did not really have the choice we were used to down south, so we will have to go further afield – actually about a mile up the A6 – to get the variety we have used for years in the clay and chalk of the Chiltern Hills although being on a flood plain we will have to see what does best over the next couple of years.

For the rest of the week, the radiotherapy machine I’ve been using is having a service and maintenance session, so being move to another one. Monday brings a trip to Windsor wing for a ultrasound before trying out the newly serviced radiotherapy monster, then it’s all down hill to mid March!

On the political front, it’s going to be a take it or leave it vote as regards leaving USE which seems to have upset the remain mob who don’t believe in democracy by not allowing a vote on every single point. Let’s be honest, I really cannot see how everything that has taken some 40 years of argumentation can possibly be resolved within two years, so I can see some interim agreements being put in place in order for a smooth transition from the current relationship to something that was in place 40 odd years again. The UK government and the USE members will have to accept that change will have to take place, hopefully to resolve the numerous oddities the current system has thrown up. I mean, we have to actually grow our own food or even not have out of season produce. Not only that but make things ourselves – heaven forbid! The USE group have already admitted they would struggle to replicate the financial network known as the City of London even if the threats made by a couple of financial institutions come about. Once again the scaremongers have been caught out along with the pollsters, who, incidently government still seem to rely on as accurate measures of public opinion having not learnt the lesson!

If, like me, you are wondering what is happening with UKIP, do not worry as they are all at Stoke on Trent trying to win a by-election which happens to be important as they had a strong following there but if they loose, then they are in real trouble. With the labour party still floundering, the Conservatives losing the plot over the NHS and the others concerned with doing away with a democratic decision by electors it’s their best chance of getting the leader (Mr Nuttall) into parliament.

Still here

The news yesterday was all about a vote in the commons, the speaker of the House saying the USA President would not be welcome to address the House of Commons and how surprised the NHS is that A&E departments have more patients than ever before.

The first two will resolve themselves without my help but I am still wondering why the NHS has more patients going to less A&E departments. I wonder if the answer is with a similar number of patients being forced to attend less A&E hospitals so the numbers attending per hospital goes up.

Then there is the situation where A&E departments are downgraded to ‘urgent care’ facilities (explanation of differences please) but ambulances still take all patients to less hospitals. I’m sure the three main Leicester hospitals still have ‘Emergency ambulance’ entrances suggesting that at one time all three would spread the load, but now it’s just the Royal Infirmary that takes emergencies although Derby and Nottingham are within blue light distance.

On the home front, the MRI scan I had after I was last seen (and signed off) at the stroke unit has shown up another possible problem which needs investigating. Strange how a couple of years ago, when I had a TIA, the hospital had the scans sent to India for checking and just a report came back (I know this as I asked if anything else had shown up only to be told the consultant only had the report from India to go on) so at least things are done thoroughly up here so in spite of concerns, the staff and treatment are excellent compared with being near to London – maybe that is the problem. I asked about my fatigue it seems the current excuse is that the effect of the radiotherapy accumulates over time and now about 1/3 of the way it will get 2/3 worse! (no mention of afterwards apart from the hormone therapy will likely continue for a couple more years so I’m good until at least 2019 sometime.

Back soon!